Enes Kanter calls out Nike over forced labor in China

Boston Celtics center Enes Kanter continues to take a stand against China. Less than a week after Kanter expressed support for Tibet, he’s calling out Uyghur forced labor, and involving Nike co-founder Phil Knight in the conversation.

Kanter will wear shoes calling out Nike. The shoes contain three phrases including “Hypocrite Nike” and “Made with slave labor.” In a tweet, Kanter said he would buy a plane ticket for Knight so the two could take a closer look at the labor situation in China.

 Nike reportedly lobbied against a 2020 bill aimed at banning imported goods made by forced labor. The bill — called the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act — focused on the Xinjiang region of China. 

Nike issued a statement in March saying the company does not source products from the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.

Enes Kanter already angered China

Kanter got all Celtics media erased in China after calling China’s leader, Xi Jinping, a “brutal dictator.” Kanter made that statement while supporting Tibet. Prior to the team’s season opener against the New York Knicks, Kanter wore shoes featuring the phrase “Free Tibet.”

Kanter is far from the first NBA personality to speak against China. Houston Rockets executive Daryl Morey found himself in the spotlight after supporting protests in China in 2019. Morey’s tweet drew criticism from LeBron James, who called it “misinformed.”

Upon joining the Philadelphia 76ers in 2020, Morey said he was “comfortable with what I did” when asked about that tweet.

Enes Kanter said he will fly with Nike co-founder Phil Knight to China. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)


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